Home means coming to Cooperstown
By Samantha Carr
Brothers Chris and Cary Buchanan drove to Chris’ home in Hamilton, N.Y., from Colorado Springs, Colo. — and once again found themselves taking a detour to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Both Buchanans have recently returned home from their second tour of duty in Iraq with the army and visited baseball heaven with their families. To them, last Thursday’s trip to Cooperstown was a reminder of what it means to be home.
“It’s not real yet,” said Chris about his happiness to be home. “You really get pulled in a lot of different directions, but spending time with my family is great.”
Active and retired career military personnel receive free admission to the Museum, and Chris visits Cooperstown just about every time he returns home. He was even a part of Induction Weekend in 2007 to see Cal Ripken Jr. and Tony Gwynn receive their Hall of Fame plaques.
“The Hall of Fame has grown quite a bit over the years,” said Chris.
“I haven’t been here in about 15 years and [the village] has grown a lot,” added Cary, who makes his home in Richmond, Va. “You can barely even see [Doubleday Field] from the road.”
Chris returned from Baghdad in January, and Cary has only been back about a month.
“I’m stationed in Hawaii, so last week I was deep-sea fishing in warm weather, and now I’m in cold Upstate New York,” Cary said.
I can’t imagine that is the best tradeoff, but Cary is a fan of Jackie Robinson, so once he gets to see the Pride and Passion exhibit dedicated to the African-American baseball experience, I know he will think it’s worth it.
Both Buchanan wives, Laurie and Rose, are also military women. Chris’ wife, Laurie, served for 12 years in the army, and Rose has served for 14 in the same branch.
Both couples became much more animated when they got to view the plaque at the entrance to the Plaque Gallery that commemorates all of the Hall of Famers who served in the military.
“Lawrence Berra — is that Yogi?” Chris asked. When I replied that it was, he responded with a laugh. “I wouldn’t go by Lawrence, either.”
It was a great opportunity to thank a few of the people that dedicate their lives to defending freedom. Thank you to Chris, Cary, Laurie, Rose and all the other members of the U.S. military.
Samantha Carr is the media relations coordinator at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.